LOUISVILLE, Ky. — COVID-19 disrupted every aspect of life, including the athletic career of Seneca High School senior Nevaeh Saunders. 

What You Need To Know

  • Jefferson County Public Schools will begin a new ‘Test to Play’ policy Nov. 1

  • The policy requires students to take a COVID-19 test every week in order to play sports or participate in extracurriculars

  • The policy also applies to vaccinated students

  • JCPS will also start vaccine clinics in schools, starting with Seneca High School on Wednesday

“Starting out my freshman year, we had a full season,” she said. “Sophomore year, the same thing. It was kind of hard playing my junior year but we found ways to get around it.”

Saunders plays basketball for the girls team, while sophomore Josh Lewis plays on the boys basketball team.

“We just want to have a full season this year,” he said. “We’re all ready to play.”

And as they get ready for their seasons, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) will be adding a new measure to keep kids safe: starting Nov. 1, any JCPS student in sports or extracurricular activities will have to sign up for weekly COVID-19 testing, regardless of vaccination status.

“We believe that test-to-play will ensure that they are able to carry the full season and continue to come to school and be safe,” Seneca High School Principal Michael Guy said.

Every parent will have to sign a consent form allowing their kids to be tested. Otherwise, they won’t be allowed to participate in extracurriculars.

JCPS Health Services Director Eva Stone said it’s another step toward returning to normal.

“What we’ve learned with COVID in this country, I think, is that when we let our guard down is when things seem to creep up again,” she said. “So I think it’s really important just that we learn to live and function in a society now that has COVID.”

Saunders said she’s ready for the season and she’s hopeful there won’t be any interruptions.

“I just want everything to go back to the way it was with no worrying about, oh, somebody tested positive; oh, we might have to cancel games,” she said. “When we hear stuff like that, it kind of brings us down.”

And she said she’s on board with weekly testing to keep the team’s focus on the court.